- EPnews -- from The Entrepreneurial
a work-family resource for home-based entrepreneurs
- Volume 3, Issue 6
July 14, 1999
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- The Funny Things EP Kids Say
EP Times -- An Editorial
What's It Worth?
Making Money Matters
What's Happening at EP
Note to New Subscribers: EPnews
is published and distributed on the second
and fourth Wednesday of every month. The Entrepreneurial Parent
is updated every weekend; look for new content on
THE FUNNY THINGS EP KIDS SAY & DO!
Submitted by EPnews Subscriber,
Michele Marrinan (mailto: [email protected]):
My 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Veronica,
is going to start nursery school in
September. I have been preparing her by talking about what she
there, and about how we will buy a backpack and lunch box for
her to bring
along. Although my husband, her Daddy, passed away last September,
talk about him--maybe a little too much. I asked her recently
what kind of
backpack she wanted for school, and she promply replied "A
backpack." Thinking that Barbie is too mature for a 2-year-old,
"Why don't we pick something else." To which she quickly
said I could have a Barbie backpack. He told me up in heaven."
Share with the EP Community something
your child said or did recently that
made you smirk, giggle, or LOL. Send your submission via e-mail
with the subject heading "A Funny Thing My EP Kid
Said (or Did)". And if you need a stockpile of smiles to
get you through
your EP day, pick up your own heartwarming copy of Grace Housholder's
Funny Things Kids Say" @ http://en-parent.com/familybooks.htm.
stressed-out EP days, you'll be glad you did!
-- AN EDITORIAL
"An EP in the Making"
© 1999 by Lisa Roberts
Last week, my third child turned
six years old. My husband, Ron, took off
from work for his birthday party and we all had a blast. Sixteen
came through our back door, as requested, giggling in anticipation
maybe one or two stepping *very cautiously* ahead...) The invitations
"It's a SDRAWKCAB Party!
That means everything at Jimmy's party will be
inside out, upside down and basically silly in every way! Please
wearing something inside out and/or backwards, and don't forget
through our BACK door and say 'Good-Bye' when you first see Jimmy
'Hello' when it's time to go!"
The kids didn't know what to
expect, except that it would be different than
any other party they had ever been to. Ron started it off by
young guests in standard children's games with a backwards twist
everyone had arrived and settled in. Then we decorated visors
that were to
be worn upside down for the rest of the party, led the kids to
set up with a "What's Wrong With This Picture?" kind
of theme (where they
had to name at least five things that were "not right"
with the room),
pinned the tail on the donkey's nose, and finally served all
guests a piece
of cake and other assorted snacks UNDER the dining room table.
Why go through all that work?
Ever since our first turned three we've been
holding these kind of theme birthday parties in our home...primarily
the following reasons:
1) It builds memories that just
couldn't surface at the local bowling alley
or roller skating ring (which is where I finally caved in this
holding my son's 9th and my daughter's 12th birthday parties
with as-expected results).
2) It's generally less expensive than out-of-the-home parties.
3) It turns our home into a really exciting place to be...at
times a year ;-)
4) It teaches the kids "out of the box" thinking among
their peer groups.
I've been telling myself that
this last ulterior motive is the driving
force behind all the others. "Out of the box" thinking
is what I try to
apply daily in my work for EP and various other projects here
at home. It's
what I like to believe sets apart the true "entrepreneurial"
from other types, primarily because it's what comes naturally
to *me.* But
now I'm starting to wonder if this is a key ingredient at all.
when I think about it, creativity takes a backseat to raw salesmanship
skills just about every time. I was recently reminded of this
my son -- the birthday boy himself -- in action...simply doing
naturally to *him.*
More than any of his siblings
at this point in time, Jimmy is rip-roaring
ahead in the "entrepreneurial" department. While currently
Jessica wants to
be a teacher of some sort, William wants to be a scientist of
and Thomas (at 3) is way too young to have an inkling -- Jimmy,
question, is on the sales track. For those of you who read my
book, you may
recall that Jimmy was the "brave" one -- my child who
at two years old was
fighting off the wolves in "Beauty & the Beast"
with my font ruler whenever
he heard the musical score playing in the house. Jimmy has turned
out to be
my most bold, brazen, impulsive and stubborn of all, with a dynamic,
personality that appeals to his peers and often (not always!)
teachers. He, in actuality, is very unlike the rest of the Roberts
who are fundamentally introspective/introverted -- albeit creative.
Enter our first multi-family
tag sale, and Jimmy's first tag sale period.
Held a week before Jimmy's party, it involved seven out of ten
the block for two days straight. Before the first morning had
arrow pointing to our true-blue entrepreneur was flashing neon-like
collective minds. My mother was the one who noticed it first.
We allowed each of the kids to
have their own spot to sell their wares (old
toys and assorted cast-aside favorites), and maintained a total
policy so they could do their own thing. William had a make-shift
up, while Jessica, Jimmy and even Thomas had their own sheet
they laid down
on the ground. Jessica's sheet was well-organized with each item
"space," labels in neat and clear view, and a few wares
together. William, who has the makings of an absent-minded professor
ever saw one, was in total disarray much of the time -- his toys
in boxes hours into the sale, and the ones up on the table set
up with no
particular rhyme or reason. And Thomas' sheet was basically just
for him to sit down, wrinkle up and feel justified in.
In contrast to all, Jimmy --
backwards/upside-down/basically-silly-in-every-way boy -- was
control. He took a few of his old games and laid them out, evenly-spaced,
in the center of his sheet. Then he took all the toy vehicles
muster up -- mostly hot wheel cars but also trains, trucks, planes
boats -- and lined them up systematically in and around the centerpiece
toys, as if they were going somewhere...as if in action already.
grabbed the infant car seat we were selling, pulled it near his
promptly sat down in it, with his feet in mid-air and his set-up
beside him. When our first customer came, he was ready.
The woman and her two-year old
son strolled slowly up our driveway. Eyes
fixed directly on the purse-holding mom, Jimmy declared from
"CARS!! CARS!! We got Cars!" It wasn't shouting, just
clear and firm
vocalization. When he watched them pass by and head towards the
William sat quietly at attention, he tried a different tactic.
He too grew
quiet...then got up and started working on the two-year old.
"Would you like a car?"
he asked gently, leading the child back to his
sheet. "What kind do you like? This one?" and Jimmy
picked up a standard
hot wheel car. "This one?" he started flying the toy
demonstrate. Then he saw the boy touch a little fire engine.
one!" Jimmy smiled.
By the time his mom was done
checking things out, the little boy was
attached. Jimmy made his first sale -- 20 cents! He clanged the
his cup in triumph.
It didn't take very long at all
until Jimmy's sales tactics got a bit too
sophisticated for his own good. Later on that very day, he took
a walk to
the other tag sales on the block, bought a toy truck with the
dollar he had
earned, and placed it on his sheet with no tag. A half-hour later,
sold it for THREE dollars. My mother was in stitches.
At the end of the second day,
when we all had had enough of the hot, hot
weather and the general disarray that tag sales command, we started
all unsold items towards the street with the intent of putting
a FREE sign
up for takers. Jimmy was disturbed at the thought, so I made
him a deal. If
he sat there to "man" the merchandise, he could sell
any item for a quarter
to any other stragglers who came by.
Hours passed and Jimmy was still
out there, shouting at the cars passing,
"Everything's a QUARTER! Twenty-five cents for everything
house...or the car!" Finally, a neighbor came by and took
several of the
remaining baby items for an expectant niece, and poured all kinds
into Jimmy's cup.
To sum it up, in one day my just-turning
six-year old was able to
accomplish what I have not in eleven years of entrepreneurship.
He won a
customer over not with a quality product but with a smooth sales
presentation. He earned a tip that surpassed total sales. And
he sold an
item three times its cost. Now while I'm not condoning or endorsing
son's particular sales style, there's no denying that he's got
if you know what I mean.
Meanwhile, I'm left with the
burning question. Will the real Entrepreneur
in this household please stand up?
is the mother of four, Web Producer of The Entrepreneurial
Parent and the author of "How to Raise A Family & A
Career Under One Roof:
A Parent's Guide to Home Business." Copies of her
book are available for purchase at: http://en-parent.com/order.htm
through Amazon, at:
WHAT'S IT WORTH?
deB is on vacation this month
-- check back in August for the next WIW column!
Sechrist is the mother of three, Webmanager of The Entrepreneurial
Parent and owner of deBweB, a web design business. Find out more
MAKING MONEY MATTERS
Being available to your kids
and managing a career under one roof sounds to
many like the best of both worlds, but without pulling in some
income what's all the effort for? Making Money Matters! This
Rogers, the mother of three under six and owner of U-Talk Publications,
shares her marketing tips with us. You can contact her at:
P.O. Box 1266
Akron, Ohio 44309-1266
Ph: (330) 630-9490
Fax: (330) 630-9464
Email: [email protected]
Please note: If you'd like to
submit a contribution for an upcoming issue,
email: [email protected]
with the subject heading "MMM Survey," and
we'll send you our survey!
1. In a 2-3 sentence statement, explain what your home business
including your target market and "mission statement."
My home business is U-Talk Publications.
U-Talk Publications, an
independent publisher, is in the business of creating quality
help people celebrate and capture the images and feelings associated
special people, events and experiences that contribute to a better
of life. My target market includes teenagers, parents of teens
grandparents of teens.
2. What are the most popular
products and/or services you sell? How much do
you sell them for (or what's your hourly rate), and how did you
right price/fee schedule for them?
The most popular product that
I sell is a write-in combination scrapbook,
journal and keepsake for teens called, A Teen Yearbook: My Life
in My Own
Words which sells for $19.95. I found the right price for A Teen
by getting quotes for production costs (print costs based on
size print run) and then multiplied this amount by a multiple
in the publishing industry to arrive at the selling price for
a book. This
helps to take into account all of the discounting that takes
place in the
supply chain for a book that is sold in retail stores and still
allow me to
earn a profit after my business expenses.
3. What are *your* favorite products
and/or services? Why do you like to
My favorite product is A Teen
Yearbook because it's a fun book that helps
teens to positively express themselves through writing. It also
provide them with an opportunity to reflect on their teen years
with the lives of their own children once they become parents.
4. Tell us a bit about your marketing
campaign. When did you start noticing
your first sales (after which marketing technique), what marketing
have you noticed yield the greatest results, and how do you make
contact and subsequent sales (via online, phone, fax, mail, face-to-face)?
Marketing is my favorite part
of my business and where much of my education
lies. The marketing for my book must take place at various levels
various types of customers. Although I have a distributor who
some bookstore accounts, I am responsible for marketing to the
end user and
to other types of retail accounts.
In order to let the end user
know about my product, I spend most of my
efforts on trying to generate free publicity. I periodically
press releases and review copies to various media types (magazines,
newspapers and Internet) in hopes of getting free publicity.
I try to give
the editors information that will be useful to their readers
course mentioning my book and then following-up with a phone
started noticing my first sales after my book starting getting
For retail accounts I will very
soon be utilizing direct mail to generate
Lastly, I use my web site (http://www.journalwriting.com)
as a way to
market my book.
5. Any additional comments are
Having a home business is a true
blessing to me. Actually I have been
known to call it a "blessed challenge" because my main
job is that of a
stay-at-home-mom of 3 boys (ages 5 1/2, 2 and 3 months).
Thanks for the opportunity to
submit this survey to you!
Have a question? It may already
be answered in 1 of the 16 EP Expert Q&A
pages now up and running! Check them out at
(follow the "Q&A" links). If your question
isn't answered there, then send it to: [email protected].
We'll be glad
to help you out if we can!
The following question has recently
been answered by our EP Low-Cost
Marketing Expert, Silvana Clark. Silvana is working on her latest
"150 Ways to Raise Your Child's Self Esteem." If you
have a tip that's
worked for you and your child, please email Silvana directly
[email protected] -- remember,
she needs 150 of them, so please be generous!
Q. Dear Silvana,
I recently started a home-based
business in Interior Design. My marketing
has included flyers and, most recently, postcards to new mortgage
listed in the business section of my local newspaper. My dilemma
the competition is so great where I live. I would love to be
discover a niche market to stand out from my competion. I do
targeted market for the postcards, but I'm not getting the response
expected. What I would love to be able to offer to my clients
personal touches to their homes. I've done the window treatments
in my own
home, I love to paint and use the popular faux treatments. Please
Thanks in advance, Angie
A. Since competition is tight,
you'll need to find a "niche" that makes you
stand out from others. What is your specific specialty? If you
known as the "Window Treatment Specialist" or the "Baby
you'll be able to get some business. Try going to a small, locally-owned
fabric, paint or home improvement store. Ask if you can give
a free short
seminar on your specialty. If you offer your services for free,
are the store will promote the seminar. You'll then have people
who might hire you. Even on a tight budget, could you create
window treatments for your child's classroom? The school newsletter
then mention your work. he point is that people need to see a
your work before they feel comfortable hiring you. Keep trying
a high visibilty.
Silvana Clark is the author of "Taming the Marketing Jungle:
Ideas When Your Motivation is High and Your Budget is Low,"
"150 Ways to
Raise Creative, Confident Kids" and the forthcoming "150
Ways to Raise Your
Child's Self Esteem," all available at the EP Bookstore
To learn more about Silvana and/or to
ask her a single question, go to http://en-parent.com/Experts/exp-clark.htm.
An old favorite movie, "Twelve
Angry Men," with Henry Fonda & company.
Check this video out the next time you're at the reel store and
dynamics of twelve very distinct, very genuine personalities.
I hear there
was a remake but this one is classic. Note the sales-like qualities
some of these guys, and some "old boy" networking in
An old favorite Web site, [email protected], an online magazine for
business owners, at: http://gohome.com
"[email protected]: Making a
life while making a living" has recently undergone
a whole new redesign. This magazine has always been top-notch,
so if you
haven't been there for awhile or never before -- do check it
And a great new site for Dads! Check out Fathers First Online
WHAT'S HAPPENING AT EP
All is quiet here as Lisa and
deB spend the bulk of their time shuffling
kids around to various summer activities. There has been some
interaction on our discussion list, though. Here's a message
Rogers, our featured MMM marketing profile, who agreed to share
From: [email protected]
Hey, just a bit of encouragement
for someone -- DON'T GIVE UP!!! Perhaps
not everyone needs to hear this, but for those who do -- Payday
I have been working from home now for over 2 years and have never
to pay myself. Although I have had sales, the money has always
having to go right back into the business. Well, finally this
year I am
able to begin paying myself what I call "bonuses".
I work from home because of the
freedom and control it gives me, the
creative outlet, because I am entrepreneurial at heart, and the
-- because I am able to stay home with my children. BUT with
all of that
said and done, I have looked forward to paying myself for a while
learned that just as I would deserve a salary working for someone
I deserve a salary working for myself -- after all -- work is
work! In the
beginning of my business, I was knocking on the doors of local
trying to get my books onto their shelves. After 2 years, my
book is now
stocked on the shelves in 3 out of 4 of the largest chain bookstores
I share this not to brag, but
because sometimes we can work so long and so
hard without seeing the rewards that it can be easy to give up
It reminds me of all of the work that we put into raising our
how it seems to be 99% giving all day. But I believe that this
our time, love and energy will pay off in big dividends as our
grow and mature into the adults that God created them to be.
businesses are no different. As we continue to learn and strive
to let the
world know about our products and services, the results will
come and our
businesses will grow into what we envisioned them to be.
So -- let's all keep striving,
learning, working and earning all that we
are worth as Entrepreneurial Parents!
Have a great week! --April Rogers
Please note: if you'd like to
subscribe to our discussion list, go to:
If you're interested in becoming
a NAEP member, go to:
MORE WORD ON EP:
Peter W. Siler, the Director
and Founder of Fathers First Online!, wrote a
terrific review of EP and featured our site throughout the month
Thanks so much for your wonderful recognition, Pete -- and congratulations
for a well-done new site for Dads! (Again, go take a look at
You can catch the full review of EP at:
Or read the highlights here:
"There are zillions of Web
sites on parenting and zillions of sites on
careers and starting your own business on the Internet, but this
best one I've seen that puts them both together in such a nice
fashion. It won't be the only site you'll need but it's a great
start. And although it's run by home-based moms it does a lot
than some "parenting" Web sites to be inclusive of
fathers (to wit, the
availability of the "dad" graphic above).
Not quite ready to take the plunge?
Then subscribe to their free e-zine
(sign up on their homepage). This will help keep your toe in
the water and
a beacon alit at the end of the career/family tunnel."
That's it until August. To all EPs who miss the perk of an air-conditioned
office, try cooling off by running through the sprinkler with
Kids!! (Ha! Couldn't do that one before now, could you??)
The Entrepreneurial Parent, LLC
is not engaged in rendering legal or
financial advice. If expert assistance is required, the services
licensed professional should be sought.
This newsletter may be redistributed
freely via the Internet. Re-publishing
of separate articles for your print publication needs approval
to: [email protected] for permission.
© 2000, The Entrepreneurial
Editor: Lisa M. Roberts
EP Webmaster: Deborah Sechrist
POB 320722, Fairfield, CT 06432; http://en-parent.com
Ph:/Fax: (203) 371-6212, Email: [email protected]
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